Electric Car Conversion Law in the UK: Things You Need To Know

Created on
September 11, 2022

Is it legal to retrofit petrol or diesel car to electric? What is the UK law for EV conversion?

Examples of margins, padding, and borders
  • Key Points
  • • The process of converting a car to an electric vehicle (EV) is legal in the UK, as long as specific safety requirements are met. The newly converted car must be registered with the government and meet specific emissions requirements.
  • • The process of converting a car to an EV can take anywhere from several days to months. It depends on the make of the car being converted and the EV conversion company.
  • • EVs offer many advantages over traditional petrol and diesel cars due to their low emissions and zero CO2 output. The best part about converting to an electric vehicle is that you can keep your dream car, but it is much quieter and cheaper to operate.

People are starting to purchase EVs because of the perks and long-term maintenance savings that come with owning one. Choosing an expensive luxurious electric vehicle like the Tesla Model S or the Audi e-Tron may cost you an arm and a leg. Because of this, you may think of more reasonable solutions, such as converting your petrol car into an electric one. But are you unsure if you can do so? 

Guess what? It's perfectly legal to retrofit an electric car in the UK as long as it meets safety standards and you re-register it on the gov.uk website's vehicle page. Don't worry if you aren’t sure if the car you own qualifies for EV conversion. The government website offers a handy test that will tell you whether or not your vehicle can be converted to electric. You just need to input your car's make, model and year into the search bar and click 'Check'. 

In addition, electric car conversions aren't just for the environmentally conscious. Electric cars offer a host of benefits, including a drive that is surprisingly quiet and economical. You may never switch back to a petrol or diesel car ever again. Ready to get started? Read through this article to obtain the basics you need to know before converting your petrol car into an electric one.

Paperwork for electric car conversion in the UK

In the UK, there are a couple of rules for converting EVs. Under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Services act 1994, a vehicle converted from a petrol engine to an electric one must be then registered as an electric car. This is done by taking down the V5C registration document and substituting it with the EV documents. Generally, any vehicle, be it brand new, retrofitted with a kit, rebuilt or radically altered, must be registered with the DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency). 

If you buy a brand-new EV from a car dealership, the dealer would usually complete the registration on your behalf. Or else, you will need to undertake the following if you decide to convert a petrol car into an electric one:

• Form V55/4 or V55/5: You would be required to send your identity documents, such as your driver's license, along with the filled V55/4 or V55/5 form to the DVLA. Vehicle tax, and a £55 registration charge, must also be paid upfront. Additionally, you may need to attach an MOT certificate if your vehicle is over 3 years old.

• Insurance Certificate: Your insurance company should be notified of the EV conversion. And you must obtain an insurance certificate from them after providing the necessary paperwork for the conversion process. The above should be handed over to the DVLA.

• Vehicle Registration Certificate: Once you submit all the documentation, the DVLA might need to inspect your car. After the approval of your application, you will receive a V5C registration certificate that displays the vehicle's registration number, driver's name and address, and VIN number. Furthermore, the DVLA will return your personal identity documents but cannot guarantee a specific date.

Suppose you're converting a car over five years old. In that case, the conversion will require a complete Vehicle Excise and Registration (VER) check. This means submitting an application to your local DVLA office and paying any applicable fees. You'll also need to have the vehicle inspected by an approved specialist mechanic before starting work. So make sure you research reputable providers beforehand.

The process may seem straightforward but wearisome if you do not provide clear evidence through photographs and bills for components and labour to the DVLA. Also, remember to keep the original registration documents of your car. 

How to convert your car to electric? 

Electric car conversion is a complicated but doable process that a lot of people are considering to save the environment and their pockets. Motor cars can be converted to EVs by replacing their engine, gearbox, gas tank and exhaust with electric motors, batteries and controllers. 

You can easily find ready-made kits for classic and modern cars or source the drivetrain from a scrapped electric vehicle. An EV conversion kit will contain everything you need to transform your vehicle, including the necessary wiring and batteries. It's essential to ensure that the equipment is of high quality and registered on gov.uk if it's going to be used on UK roads. There are a number of safety considerations you'll need to take into account when converting your car. For example, you'll want to make sure the electrical system is up-to-date and compliant with current safety standards. You'll also need to ensure that the conversion process doesn't damage any of the vehicle's systems or components. Doing an EV conversion yourself is the cheapest option. But, you will need a high level of electrical and mechanical experience.

On the other hand, a more realistic option would be to hire an electric car conversion company rather than purchasing and installing a DIY kit. There are several companies offering turnkey electric conversion and conversion kits. It would cost you more but save you time and effort. You would also be covered by the company's warranty in case of unforeseen problems. There are a number of factors to take into account when choosing an electric car conversion company. You'll want to confirm that they have the experience and expertise required for the conversion process and the necessary safety equipment. They should also be registered with gov.uk and have a good reputation in the industry.

Converting your car to electric is a feasible and affordable way to reduce your environmental impact, save money on fuel bills and enjoy added benefits. But it's a big project that requires some know-how and planning. So be sure to consult an expert before taking the plunge!

Why should you convert your car to electric?

There are many reasons why you should consider converting your car to electric. The primary benefits of EVs include: 

Reduced environmental impact: Electric vehicles produce zero emissions, which is excellent for the environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint by converting your old petrol or diesel car to an electric one.

Cheaper maintenance: Although an upfront cost comes with EV conversion, electric cars don't require oil changes or regular maintenance like gasoline vehicles. You'll save money in the long run by not having to take your vehicle in for repairs often. 

Reduced noise: Electric cars are much quieter than gasoline or diesel. This is great if you live in an apartment or condo where your neighbours might complain about the sound of your engine.

Increased range: EVs can travel longer distances on a single charge than gas cars. Most models now come with massive batteries that can take anywhere from 200 to 500 miles.

These are just a few of the most common reasons why you might want to convert your car to electric. The fact is that by 2030 the government of UK plans to ban the sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars. This means that the petrol or diesel car that you now own may become a thing to display in the museum in the upcoming years. By converting it to an EV, you will retain the exact car you love, but it will be quieter and smoother.

Cost of EV conversion in the UK

There is no fixed cost to turn your polluting car into an emission-free one. It depends on the make, model, age and technical complexity of EV conversion. The price also depends on how you intend to convert your petrol vehicle to an electric one. That is, whether you would do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Another factor influencing EV conversion cost is whether you would use your old car or purchase one for modification. Hence, the cost of EV conversion will vary from person to person. However, some ballpark figures can be provided.

A DIY electric car conversion kit in the UK may cost anywhere from £5,000 and can go up to £8,000 for a classic car. Installing an electric car conversion kit is not a walk in the park. It might take several hours to do it properly, and there are chances of messing up. Furthermore, some electric car conversion kits are costly and may even require transplanting the whole engine bay. So, if you opt to do it yourself, then make sure that you have enough time and money saved up for the project.

On the other hand, if you want an electric car conversion done by a specialist company, the price tag could be pretty high. The cost may reach £15,000 or perhaps more. This would include all the hardware and software needed to easily convert your gasoline car to an electric one. Moreover, when done correctly, you should expect a higher resale value.

For this one-time price, you will receive a low-emission car that will cost you less than 4 pence per mile. Three times less than what a traditional petrol or diesel car would cost. 

Automatic VS Manual: Which is better for EV conversion? 

An EV does not require a standard clutch and brake system for transmission. This is because it does not stall like a petrol or diesel engine car. If you decide to convert your automatic car to an EV, you may not want to add a clutch or various gears because it will only increase the cost. However, if you wish to convert a manual transmission car that you own, it's also fine.

A few companies manufacture electric vehicles with manual transmissions to maintain normalcy for those used to them. Whereas the majority are mass-producing automatic EVs nowadays. The primary reason is the braking system. Instead of the standard braking system, new technology regenerative brakes are being used. These brakes convert the heat generated from braking back into energy, thus increasing your car's range and battery life.

If there are no gears, you may wonder how to reverse an electric vehicle. This is possible as EVs are equipped with a reverse switch that electrically adjusts the motor to reverse. Simply activate the button and push the accelerator.

That said, converting an automatic is much easier than a manual because they're less complex to work on and lighter.

Best vehicles for an EV conversion

When choosing a car for EV conversion, you should choose one with more space to accommodate one or more batteries. This space can be anywhere inside the vehicle. Such as under the seats or in the boot. Remember that the batteries cannot be exposed, which would be a safety hazard.

Weight is an EV's worst enemy when it comes to efficiency. With a lighter EV, you can expect a better range and lesser power consumption. Ideally, a car weighing not more than 2,000 to 3,000 pounds is perfect for retrofitting. While lightness is desired, you should choose a car with a robust chassis that can easily cope with the weight of the large battery when you convert your old car to electric.

How long does it take to convert a petrol car to an EV?

The time needed for EV conversion will depend on the make and model of the car, as well as your skills. However, you would generally need around 800-1,200 hours to convert a petrol car to electric using specialist tools and equipment.

Charging an EV after conversion

You can use a home 3-pin to charge an EV, but it is important to note that the charging rate will be much slower than if you were using a standard outlet. Most EV charging stations have a rate of up to 100 volts and 10 Amps, so if you are using the home 3-pin charger, it will only be able to provide around 6 or 7 amps.

Electric charging stations are available at most public places, such as shopping centres and petrol stations. You can use the Bonnet app, which provides the location of charging stations in your vicinity. That's not all; you can charge your EV at over 17 major charging stations across Europe with just one app and one account. Bonnet is available for iOS as well as android. Download today for a trouble-free charging experience.

So should you consider EV Conversion?

All in all, conversion to electric is a big commitment. Many factors need to be taken into account, including the car you want to convert, your skills and availability in terms of time, and the resources available for converting your vehicle. Let's say you want to make the transition. In that case, we recommend consulting with a professional before beginning any work - they can give you all the advice and support needed for a successful conversion.

FAQs

What is an electric car conversion kit?

A conversion kit is a comprehensive set of tools and accessories that allows you to convert your car into an electric vehicle. This kit typically includes the necessary equipment, such as an electric motor, high voltage cables, battery pack, battery mounting plate and DC converters.

Is it legal to convert a car to electric?

Yes, it is legal to convert any gas-powered car into an emission-free electric one, as long as you reregister it with all the supporting documents on the UK Gov website. 

How much would it cost to convert a classic car to an electric?

It varies and depends on the EV conversion company you choose. With all parts and labour, a small classic car conversion may cost you around £20,000. At the same time, an SUV may cost as much as £60,000. 

How to convert your garage for an electric car?

You wouldn't need to entirely build a new garage to accommodate your converted electric vehicle. Take the help of a professional electrician as you would need to convert the power outlet into a 240-volt charging source. An in-depth calculation of your garage’s circuit load must be carried out before commencing EVSE installation.

September 11, 2022

Is it legal to retrofit petrol or diesel car to electric? What is the UK law for EV conversion?

Examples of margins, padding, and borders
  • Key Points
  • • The process of converting a car to an electric vehicle (EV) is legal in the UK, as long as specific safety requirements are met. The newly converted car must be registered with the government and meet specific emissions requirements.
  • • The process of converting a car to an EV can take anywhere from several days to months. It depends on the make of the car being converted and the EV conversion company.
  • • EVs offer many advantages over traditional petrol and diesel cars due to their low emissions and zero CO2 output. The best part about converting to an electric vehicle is that you can keep your dream car, but it is much quieter and cheaper to operate.

People are starting to purchase EVs because of the perks and long-term maintenance savings that come with owning one. Choosing an expensive luxurious electric vehicle like the Tesla Model S or the Audi e-Tron may cost you an arm and a leg. Because of this, you may think of more reasonable solutions, such as converting your petrol car into an electric one. But are you unsure if you can do so? 

Guess what? It's perfectly legal to retrofit an electric car in the UK as long as it meets safety standards and you re-register it on the gov.uk website's vehicle page. Don't worry if you aren’t sure if the car you own qualifies for EV conversion. The government website offers a handy test that will tell you whether or not your vehicle can be converted to electric. You just need to input your car's make, model and year into the search bar and click 'Check'. 

In addition, electric car conversions aren't just for the environmentally conscious. Electric cars offer a host of benefits, including a drive that is surprisingly quiet and economical. You may never switch back to a petrol or diesel car ever again. Ready to get started? Read through this article to obtain the basics you need to know before converting your petrol car into an electric one.

Paperwork for electric car conversion in the UK

In the UK, there are a couple of rules for converting EVs. Under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Services act 1994, a vehicle converted from a petrol engine to an electric one must be then registered as an electric car. This is done by taking down the V5C registration document and substituting it with the EV documents. Generally, any vehicle, be it brand new, retrofitted with a kit, rebuilt or radically altered, must be registered with the DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency). 

If you buy a brand-new EV from a car dealership, the dealer would usually complete the registration on your behalf. Or else, you will need to undertake the following if you decide to convert a petrol car into an electric one:

• Form V55/4 or V55/5: You would be required to send your identity documents, such as your driver's license, along with the filled V55/4 or V55/5 form to the DVLA. Vehicle tax, and a £55 registration charge, must also be paid upfront. Additionally, you may need to attach an MOT certificate if your vehicle is over 3 years old.

• Insurance Certificate: Your insurance company should be notified of the EV conversion. And you must obtain an insurance certificate from them after providing the necessary paperwork for the conversion process. The above should be handed over to the DVLA.

• Vehicle Registration Certificate: Once you submit all the documentation, the DVLA might need to inspect your car. After the approval of your application, you will receive a V5C registration certificate that displays the vehicle's registration number, driver's name and address, and VIN number. Furthermore, the DVLA will return your personal identity documents but cannot guarantee a specific date.

Suppose you're converting a car over five years old. In that case, the conversion will require a complete Vehicle Excise and Registration (VER) check. This means submitting an application to your local DVLA office and paying any applicable fees. You'll also need to have the vehicle inspected by an approved specialist mechanic before starting work. So make sure you research reputable providers beforehand.

The process may seem straightforward but wearisome if you do not provide clear evidence through photographs and bills for components and labour to the DVLA. Also, remember to keep the original registration documents of your car. 

How to convert your car to electric? 

Electric car conversion is a complicated but doable process that a lot of people are considering to save the environment and their pockets. Motor cars can be converted to EVs by replacing their engine, gearbox, gas tank and exhaust with electric motors, batteries and controllers. 

You can easily find ready-made kits for classic and modern cars or source the drivetrain from a scrapped electric vehicle. An EV conversion kit will contain everything you need to transform your vehicle, including the necessary wiring and batteries. It's essential to ensure that the equipment is of high quality and registered on gov.uk if it's going to be used on UK roads. There are a number of safety considerations you'll need to take into account when converting your car. For example, you'll want to make sure the electrical system is up-to-date and compliant with current safety standards. You'll also need to ensure that the conversion process doesn't damage any of the vehicle's systems or components. Doing an EV conversion yourself is the cheapest option. But, you will need a high level of electrical and mechanical experience.

On the other hand, a more realistic option would be to hire an electric car conversion company rather than purchasing and installing a DIY kit. There are several companies offering turnkey electric conversion and conversion kits. It would cost you more but save you time and effort. You would also be covered by the company's warranty in case of unforeseen problems. There are a number of factors to take into account when choosing an electric car conversion company. You'll want to confirm that they have the experience and expertise required for the conversion process and the necessary safety equipment. They should also be registered with gov.uk and have a good reputation in the industry.

Converting your car to electric is a feasible and affordable way to reduce your environmental impact, save money on fuel bills and enjoy added benefits. But it's a big project that requires some know-how and planning. So be sure to consult an expert before taking the plunge!

Why should you convert your car to electric?

There are many reasons why you should consider converting your car to electric. The primary benefits of EVs include: 

Reduced environmental impact: Electric vehicles produce zero emissions, which is excellent for the environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint by converting your old petrol or diesel car to an electric one.

Cheaper maintenance: Although an upfront cost comes with EV conversion, electric cars don't require oil changes or regular maintenance like gasoline vehicles. You'll save money in the long run by not having to take your vehicle in for repairs often. 

Reduced noise: Electric cars are much quieter than gasoline or diesel. This is great if you live in an apartment or condo where your neighbours might complain about the sound of your engine.

Increased range: EVs can travel longer distances on a single charge than gas cars. Most models now come with massive batteries that can take anywhere from 200 to 500 miles.

These are just a few of the most common reasons why you might want to convert your car to electric. The fact is that by 2030 the government of UK plans to ban the sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars. This means that the petrol or diesel car that you now own may become a thing to display in the museum in the upcoming years. By converting it to an EV, you will retain the exact car you love, but it will be quieter and smoother.

Cost of EV conversion in the UK

There is no fixed cost to turn your polluting car into an emission-free one. It depends on the make, model, age and technical complexity of EV conversion. The price also depends on how you intend to convert your petrol vehicle to an electric one. That is, whether you would do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Another factor influencing EV conversion cost is whether you would use your old car or purchase one for modification. Hence, the cost of EV conversion will vary from person to person. However, some ballpark figures can be provided.

A DIY electric car conversion kit in the UK may cost anywhere from £5,000 and can go up to £8,000 for a classic car. Installing an electric car conversion kit is not a walk in the park. It might take several hours to do it properly, and there are chances of messing up. Furthermore, some electric car conversion kits are costly and may even require transplanting the whole engine bay. So, if you opt to do it yourself, then make sure that you have enough time and money saved up for the project.

On the other hand, if you want an electric car conversion done by a specialist company, the price tag could be pretty high. The cost may reach £15,000 or perhaps more. This would include all the hardware and software needed to easily convert your gasoline car to an electric one. Moreover, when done correctly, you should expect a higher resale value.

For this one-time price, you will receive a low-emission car that will cost you less than 4 pence per mile. Three times less than what a traditional petrol or diesel car would cost. 

Automatic VS Manual: Which is better for EV conversion? 

An EV does not require a standard clutch and brake system for transmission. This is because it does not stall like a petrol or diesel engine car. If you decide to convert your automatic car to an EV, you may not want to add a clutch or various gears because it will only increase the cost. However, if you wish to convert a manual transmission car that you own, it's also fine.

A few companies manufacture electric vehicles with manual transmissions to maintain normalcy for those used to them. Whereas the majority are mass-producing automatic EVs nowadays. The primary reason is the braking system. Instead of the standard braking system, new technology regenerative brakes are being used. These brakes convert the heat generated from braking back into energy, thus increasing your car's range and battery life.

If there are no gears, you may wonder how to reverse an electric vehicle. This is possible as EVs are equipped with a reverse switch that electrically adjusts the motor to reverse. Simply activate the button and push the accelerator.

That said, converting an automatic is much easier than a manual because they're less complex to work on and lighter.

Best vehicles for an EV conversion

When choosing a car for EV conversion, you should choose one with more space to accommodate one or more batteries. This space can be anywhere inside the vehicle. Such as under the seats or in the boot. Remember that the batteries cannot be exposed, which would be a safety hazard.

Weight is an EV's worst enemy when it comes to efficiency. With a lighter EV, you can expect a better range and lesser power consumption. Ideally, a car weighing not more than 2,000 to 3,000 pounds is perfect for retrofitting. While lightness is desired, you should choose a car with a robust chassis that can easily cope with the weight of the large battery when you convert your old car to electric.

How long does it take to convert a petrol car to an EV?

The time needed for EV conversion will depend on the make and model of the car, as well as your skills. However, you would generally need around 800-1,200 hours to convert a petrol car to electric using specialist tools and equipment.

Charging an EV after conversion

You can use a home 3-pin to charge an EV, but it is important to note that the charging rate will be much slower than if you were using a standard outlet. Most EV charging stations have a rate of up to 100 volts and 10 Amps, so if you are using the home 3-pin charger, it will only be able to provide around 6 or 7 amps.

Electric charging stations are available at most public places, such as shopping centres and petrol stations. You can use the Bonnet app, which provides the location of charging stations in your vicinity. That's not all; you can charge your EV at over 17 major charging stations across Europe with just one app and one account. Bonnet is available for iOS as well as android. Download today for a trouble-free charging experience.

So should you consider EV Conversion?

All in all, conversion to electric is a big commitment. Many factors need to be taken into account, including the car you want to convert, your skills and availability in terms of time, and the resources available for converting your vehicle. Let's say you want to make the transition. In that case, we recommend consulting with a professional before beginning any work - they can give you all the advice and support needed for a successful conversion.

FAQs

What is an electric car conversion kit?

A conversion kit is a comprehensive set of tools and accessories that allows you to convert your car into an electric vehicle. This kit typically includes the necessary equipment, such as an electric motor, high voltage cables, battery pack, battery mounting plate and DC converters.

Is it legal to convert a car to electric?

Yes, it is legal to convert any gas-powered car into an emission-free electric one, as long as you reregister it with all the supporting documents on the UK Gov website. 

How much would it cost to convert a classic car to an electric?

It varies and depends on the EV conversion company you choose. With all parts and labour, a small classic car conversion may cost you around £20,000. At the same time, an SUV may cost as much as £60,000. 

How to convert your garage for an electric car?

You wouldn't need to entirely build a new garage to accommodate your converted electric vehicle. Take the help of a professional electrician as you would need to convert the power outlet into a 240-volt charging source. An in-depth calculation of your garage’s circuit load must be carried out before commencing EVSE installation.

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